Among all the curious (and rather annoying things) happening in the land opportunities, net neutrality being under attack is just one. According to Statista, 57% of Americans support this principle, while 16% oppose the current open internet rules. For a second, if we assume that open internet was simply a dream and the bubble just popped (as it did), we can only imagine how this will affect the online visual consumers.
What’s Net Neutrality And How Will Its Repeal Affect Us?
With Net neutrality in place, the internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally and cannot charge premium for quality or quantity, so people can browse and communicate online freely without discrimination. But if there is no net neutrality then the ISPs like Verizon, Spectrum and AT&T will have full control over the internet gateway. They can deliver you what they want and how they want.
At the center of all this is the chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Ajit Pai who pushed the idea of annulling net neutrality, thus worrying us all (yet again) about the future of the internet.
Before we explore more, it is important to know why I am concerned about the visual consumers. According to an article by Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, 84% of all communications online will be visual by 2018 and by the same year 79% of the internet traffic will be video. So considering the impact visual content is estimated to have on people, it is no doubt that both creators and consumers will be uneasy with the death of net neutrality.
Image Source: Freepik
1) Limited Access To Online Video
Now everyone isn’t a fan of PewDiePie, some like other YouTube channels that haven’t magnified in subscribers or earnings as yet. With the net neutrality roll-back, chances are that whoever has the privilege to feed the ISP will enjoy fast lanes while others will have to simply suffer.
In an open letter to the FCC, over hundred YouTubers expressed their concern around this issue especially when knowing that by 2020 video will hold 80% of the online market share – certainly an opportunity they don’t want to miss because the United States current government wasn’t capable enough of giving its people the freedom that’s rightfully theirs.
On the other hand in some communities Google Fiber is an internet provider by Google and with its potential power it can push YouTube content and discard Vimeo altogether.
Since the FCC is successful at dismissing the Open Internet Order, video viewers won’t be able to watch their favorite channels and live shows on the platforms they prefer. Now this is a bummer, right?
2) Only Chosen Visual Publishers Will Entertain You
Large media corporations will enjoy a feisty treat because they’ll most probably be able to pay ISPs whatever they charge. On the other hand, if the smaller publications (providing users with information via visual graphics such as infographics and videos) are not able to pay for superior services then their audiences will have to suck it up.
There is a fair share of audience in the United States that consumes information via local publishers but if net neutrality vote favors ISPs then this will ruthlessly limit the accessibility audiences have to the visual information about their communities.
3) No More Visual Search On Google From Verizon
For long we’ve seen that Google owns over 60% of the total search market share and nothing can stop the tech giant from staying at number one. This is probably because we took the 2015 net neutrality rules as the ultimate reality, but we forgot these guidelines could be challenged.
At the moment, people are worrying that since Verizon owns Yahoo!, it will divert its users from Google. So if you’re a fan of the latter, you may want to change your internet provider or just deal with it.
4) Wait For Your Movie To Load
Tell you what, watching a movie on cable network is old school and this is why visual consumers use services like Netflix and YouTube TV to get a seamless experience online. But with the net neutrality repeal, consumers are limited with choices.
Blockbuster, Walmart, Time Warner and Comcast have their reservations regarding the types of films they’ll want to distribute. In all this, independent film industry can suffer if they’re not on good terms with the distributors.
The problem is that a lot of favoritism will happen, and Americans will almost live in a world similar to dictatorship. No wonder people are expressing their concerns on #stoptheFCC and #savenetneutrality before the FCC wins their stance.
5) Favoritism In Online Shopping
The beauty about open internet is that consumers can browse through shops online, order and get their items delivered on their door steps. They can choose to complete their buyer’s journey via eCommerce website, a dedicated social media page or through conversational commerce.
By nullifying the title II of the Communications Act (1934), ISPs will be liberated to do whatever they want. In yet another letter to the FCC signed by trade associations and businesses, it is mentioned how things will affect online shopping, especially during the holiday season.
Right now small eCommerce companies can compete with Amazon but later this freedom will end because large businesses will be able to pay the high tolls while small businesses and startups suffer. As a result, new online retailers with innovative and creative products and services will see a slump in earnings because consumers won’t be able to reach them.
Has The Net Neutrality Repeal Started To Affect You?